The new bike path being built where Martin Greenough was hit and killed while riding in December 2015 is being built as I type this. While the path nears completion, so too does the lawsuit filed by his family last April.
Greenough’s family named the City, State and the man who was driving
drunk while intoxicated with marijuana prior to hitting him in their $3.6 million lawsuit. Last week The Oregonian reported that they’ve accepted a settlement with the City and State for $23,000. Here’s more from The O:
That’s far less than the $3.6 million that relatives of Martin Lee Greenough sought, but they’re pleased because they believe the lawsuit prompted the state to finally fast-track construction of a bike lane along the stretch after years of delay, their lawyer said.
I rolled over to the location yesterday to see how the new path was shaping up. A tractor was working on the site and seemed to be leveling out the first layer of gravel and dirt that will be the foundation for the coming pavement. Headed eastbound, the path will transition from the on-street bike lane just east of where eastbound NE 42nd Avenue traffic merges onto Lombard. The path then becomes separated from motorized traffic via a guard-rail and continues under the overpass. It then transitions back onto the bike lane about 100 feet east of the overpass.
Keep in mind that there’s still a gap in the westbound direction. ODOT says there’s simply not enough room to add one and they’re not willing to narrow or change the existing two-lane roadway. We’ll see if their tune changes after another person is hit and injured or killed in that gap.
The Oregonian reports that the City of Portland is paying $3,000 of the settlement while the State is paying $20,000. The State owns and manages this section of Lombard, but the family felt the City of Portland also shared responsibility because their official bike map recommends this route. As we first reported, Greenough was new to town and was using the map to find his way home when the collision occurred.
If this obvious, well-documented, and dangerous bike lane gap was closed with a path like this prior to December 2015, Greenough would very likely still be alive today.